You know those people you meet, or maybe you’re one of them, who are just really enthusiastic about life and always seem to carry sunshine with them wherever they go? They’re those people that just fall into the category of “happy” people. Yeah, that’s never been me. From the moment I learned what a pessimist was I decided that I was one. Now that was probably just an over-exaggerated conclusion from my dramatic adolescent self, but I’m still not one of those people that you’re going to see walking down the street with a big grin on my face just because I’m happy to be alive.
I’m actually a very sensitive person. I get upset easily and I get upset a lot. Sadness is one of many human emotions, one that we experience enough to call it a normal feeling. But recently, I realized that being sad actually really sucks. I know it’s kind of a trend now to be an “angsty teenager”, but honestly being sad all the time is not fun. Now don’t get me wrong, I know what depression is. Actually almost everyone will experience depression at some point in their life time. I don’t know all the facts about depression and the way it affects people psychologically, but I know that the reality is that it’s not just something that people can completely avoid. However, there are some steps I’ve taken to start leading a life that’s a little less grey and rainy. It all started with one choice: I decided I wanted to be happy.
I believe that we have a lot more control over our happiness than we think. I’ve spent so much of my life just laying around and complaining about how life is unfair, because it’s easy to do that. At some point I got used to being sad and so that just became a normal part of my life. I realize now that life is short and being sad is simply a giant waste of time. There were some questions I asked myself: What’s causing your sadness? What makes you feel better when you’re sad? How do YOU want to feel? The answers to these questions turned out to be simpler than I thought. The truth was, sometimes I wanted to be sad. I don’t really know what the reason was, maybe it was for attention purposes or maybe it was just because I had gotten so used to feeling that way. But because of these feelings, I realized that I wasn’t doing much at all to make myself feel better when I was sad. I was literally just letting myself feel like shit.
So when I answered these questions for myself, I began to realize just how unhealthy my lifestyle was. The truth is, happiness wasn’t just going to come to me. I couldn’t sit back and expect that one day I was going to wake up and be happy because sorry to break it to ya, but that just doesn’t happen. I decided I needed to go out and find happiness for myself. I began to do more things for myself to make ME feel good. For example, last week something really crappy happened but I didn’t want to let myself feel crappy. So I went shopping and I bought a really cute collared shirt (seriously, it is so. cute.) I didn’t cry at all that day and that’s a huge accomplishment for me. Just making that choice to go out and keep living instead of locking myself up in my room and letting my tears make my makeup run down my face made a big positive impact on my mood that’s lasted this whole week. I couldn’t change what had happened, but I could control how I let it affect me.
A couple months ago, I made another positive choice in my life and began 100 Happy Days. I had seen a bunch of people do it on Instagram and I thought it would be a fun project that would encourage me to start posting more photos on my personal account, as well as help me out in the happiness department. I had no expectations of what I would get out of it or any idea of where it would take me. Now after 58 days, I can honestly say that although I’ve enjoyed it, it hasn’t always been easy. Most days I was able to find plenty of things that made me happy, but on some more difficult days I really had to sit down and think about what there was to be happy about. Soon I discovered there’s actually a lot to be happy about and it’s not very often that I actually stop and think about those things. This project has definitely been an eye opener and has helped me be more thankful for the people and opportunities I have in my life. Sorry to be cheesy, but it’s the truth.
So basically what I’m saying is if you’re feeling down, start doing something about it. Get up off your ass and go out and live. Do what makes you feel good. Find things that inspire you and follow your passions. Treat your body well because it’s the only one you get. Surround yourself with good people and get rid of the ones who only make you feel bad about yourself. Let go of the memories that haunt you and focus on the present and what you have now. Don’t let anything or anyone hold you back from fulfilling your dreams because the only limits in life are the ones you set for yourself. Find the little things that give you happiness and indulge in that feeling, whether it’s singing to old Britney Spears songs or baking macarons or doing both of those things at the same time. Remember da motto: #yolo. But in all seriousness, you really only live once so why spend it feeling like poop? Don’t settle for a life of misery but rather give yourself the joyful life that you deserve.
To end this, I will share one of my most recent favourite quotes that I’ve been living by: “Happiness is a journey, not a destination.” -Paul H Dunn
And now all I have left to say is good luck on your journey!
View my 100 Happy Days project here.